Next up in our player by player review of the past Everton season, in which each individual will be recapped and rated is: Idrissa Gueye
When Idrissa Gueye was linked with a move to Paris St. Germain, there were some Toffees who welcomed the proposed move. I know, it is absurd; I couldn’t believe it either. Gana has a fair argument for being our best player, and was certainly one of our very best performers.
Marco Silva relied on his midfield destroyer constantly, handing him 33 league appearances and nearly 2900 minutes. Ideas of Gana being a limited passer were overblown, and he really formed a formidable midfield duo with Andre Gomes. I look forward to having him back next year, and he should be a crucial cog in Everton’s first XI for years to come.
Back in February, I broke down several of his games statistically to show his effectiveness in the middle of the park. You can read that here. Having a midfielder capable of these outputs is a rare resource, Gana could legitimately start on almost any team in the league.
Per 90 minutes, his possession loss numbers were better than Andre Gomes, Morgan Schneiderlin, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Tom Davies, in fact, they were better than any non-defender. This is the case despite the fact that he handled the highest passing load of any other regular on the team (completing a very high number of long balls while he is at it).
His defensive numbers are well known and speak for themselves. Silva is smart in how he deploys Gana, relying on him for passing volume without asking him to engage in a high number of passing risks, and allowing him to roam and clean up messes all over the pitch. I just cannot rave about his performance enough. He is perfect for his role in the side.
He is practically undroppable. He had 33 appearances, 32 starts, and this while missing four games to injury. He played 2,826 minutes and there were only four instances where he started but did not finish the match.
The only players who played more minutes than Gana were Jordan Pickford, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Michael Keane, and Lucas Digne, all fellow undroppable stalwarts. Simply put, Marco Silva sees him as absolutely essential, and with good reason.
There has been some speculation about PSG coming back for another go at this transfer. When summer hits and rumours start flying it is rather impossible to know much of what is happening until clubs make official announcements. I am sure there is a number at which we would sell, but barring that happening he should be here for a good long while. If this club is going to catch the top six in any meaningful way over the next three to four seasons, Gana will be right in the middle of it.